First Published: 2012-11-14

 

15 killed in string of bombings across Iraq

 

Spate of coordinated bombings across Iraq leaves many Iraqis dead, dozens injured on eve of Islamic new year.

 

Middle East Online

KIRKUK, Iraq - A series of apparently coordinated bombings across Iraq on the eve of a Muslim festival marking the Islamic new year killed 15 people and wounded dozens of others on Wednesday, officials said.

The blasts -- six car bombs and a roadside bomb -- struck in Baghdad and four other cities, the security and medical officials said, and will likely raise tensions in a country that only recently emerged from a brutal sectarian war.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the spate of violence, but Al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq frequently carries out coordinated bombings and attempts spectacular mass-casualty attacks in a bid to destabilise the government through fomenting bloodshed.

Wednesday's deadliest blasts struck in Kirkuk, a disputed ethnically-mixed oil-rich province in north Iraq that is frequently targeted by militants seeking to sow communal violence, where at least nine people were killed and 39 wounded.

Two car bombs and a roadside bomb in Kirkuk's eponymous capital city killed five people and wounded 34 others, while another explosives-packed vehicle targeting an Iraqi army patrol in the town of Hawijah, also in Kirkuk province, left four dead and five others wounded, according to officials.

"My child was killed! His friends were killed!" Shukriyah Rauf screamed in Kurdish at the site of the worst of the Kirkuk city attacks, where a car bomb and a roadside bomb in a majority-Kurdish neighbourhood killed five.

"There is no security here, our homes were destroyed!"

The attack that killed Rauf's child struck near offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Iraq's most powerful Kurdish political party which is led by Massud Barzani, president of the autonomous Kurdistan region.

The other attack in the city wounded seven municipal street cleaners.

"The car bomb targeted our friends -- they are not police, soldiers or politicians," wailed Jassim al-Obeidi. "They just wanted to make a little money."

Kirkuk province lies at the centre of a tract of disputed territory that is claimed by both the central government and the Kurdish region, and the unresolved row is cited by diplomats and officials as the biggest long-term threat to Iraq's stability.

South of Baghdad near the city of Hilla, meanwhile, a car bomb in a parking lot near a crowded marketplace killed five people and wounded 35 others, police and medics said.

Another car bomb in Baghdad's Firdos Square, the site famous for Iraqis pulling down a statue of Saddam Hussein shortly after the 2003 US-led invasion, killed one person and wounded six others.

A sixth car bomb in the town of Baladruz, in restive Diyala province, wounded six.

The violence comes a day before Muharram, which marks the Islamic new year on the lunar calendar.

Violence in Iraq is dramatically lower than its peak in 2006 and 2007 when the country was in the throes of a brutal sectarian war, but Sunni militants still carry out attacks, typically in a bid to target the Shiite-led government, its institutions and supporters.

 

Brexit vote lays bare depth of division across Britain

US-backed Syria fighters edge further into ISIS border hub

Tunisia flaunts seaside security to bring back tourists

Car bomb kills four civilians in Libya's Benghazi

Iran cracks down on ‘Western culture’ of canine ownership

Young Britons vent anger at grey Brexit vote

Russia planes pound Aleppo as Syria regime forces closes in

Britain and EU: A fraught divorce

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition

Turkey confirms new accession talks with EU

Saudi suspect found dead after gunfight in Shiite town

Suspended Kuwait sues IOC for damages

Erdogan lashes out at EU treatment of Turkey

UN Chief, Saudi prince discuss situation in Yemen

Turkey blocks visit of German delegation to Incirlik air base

Trump goes on blistering offensive against Clinton

EU negotiators endorse new border force proposal

Head of EU parliament hopes to arrange meeting of Israeli, Palestinian leaders

Turkish prosecutors demand 14 years for activists

Final push for votes as EU leaders warn over Brexit

Egypt government appeals court block on islands’ transfer to Saudis

Heat, long fasting days take their toll on Cairo residents

Assad names Imad Khamis as new Prime Minister

Turkey wants Britain to stay in EU 'under any circumstances'

EU to open new membership talks with Turkey

Turkey arrests 3 IS suspects over 'LGBT rally plot'

Yemen rebels say consensus president crucial for peace deal

Fallujah 'almost cleared' of ISIS jihadists

Dawn prayers stoke fears for Turkey's Hagia Sophia

Turkish FM says normalisation deal depends on Israel

25 civilians killed in air raids on Syria’s Raqa

UN urges international community to aid civilians who fled Fallujah

UN envoy proposes roadmap for Yemen peace